Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Draws Near

Some of the colorful autumn trees in my neighborhood this week

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

Duncan Hines Cranberry Orange Bar Mix

  • Remember that the time changes this weekend. We'll turn our clocks back on Saturday evening (after we get back from our Halloween festivities!)
  • Need to do any baking for Halloween? I'm making a batch of cookies, and perhaps some cranberry orange bars, to bring to a party I'll attend.
  • If you're going to a party, do you have a hostess gift ready?
  • Do you need to do any last minute costume shopping, creation or preparations, whether for yourself or your kids?
  • Survey your Halloween candy, if you expect trick-or-treaters. Do you have enough? How about stickers, pens or small toy items for kids with allergies?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Halloween Preparations

Beeswax Jack-o-Lantern Candles, on Etsy

Tonight my favorite cousin is coming over to watch scary movies, eat a bunch of yummy appetizer type foods we've picked up at Trader Joe's, take silly witchy photos in my photography room, and consume perhaps a bit too much whiskey. We're going to different parties tomorrow, so I'm grateful we can enjoy some Halloween festivities together ahead of time.

To get ready for her visit (she'll be drinking, so will bring her little dogs and spend the night) I'll need to refreshen the guest room, sanitize the guest bathroom, vacuum and sweep the house, and set out fresh flowers. I'll also spend a bit of time in the kitchen today cleaning and tidying in case we have a drunken baking frenzy.

What Halloween preparations do you need to do? Costume readiness, baking, cleaning for a party you're hosting, frantically rushing to the store for candy for trick-or-treaters? Checking flashlight batteries in the lights you'll send with your kids? Preparing to make a special Halloween brunch or breakfast for your family tomorrow?

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Glazed Apple

I'm all pumpkin spiced out, thoroughly sick of the admittedly nice fragrances; and I'm not yet ready to start slathering on Christmasy mint, pine, or cranberry fragrances. So I'm excited to see The Body Shop's harvest-themed products for this season in between Halloween and Christmas. Glazed Apple comes in a lotion, shower gel, body butter, body polish, hand cream and more. I'm delighted that I coincidentally happened to use up my last bit of lotion last night, so I have no excuse not to indulge in one of these!

Glazed Apple bath and body products at The Body Shop

The Body Shop's Glazed Apple Products on Amazon.com

LOVELY BLOGS: A Year at the Table

This is the perfect blog for this time of year especially. I love seasonal cooking blogs, and this one definitely caught my attention. Currently they're posting about healthy comfort food recipes, such as Jerusalem Chicken and Couscous, Indian Grilled Chicken with Fresh Peach Relish, and their "Last Push Panzanella" dish. I love that the recipes are archived by season at the top of the blog.

http://ayearatthetable.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: The Bar-Tender's Guide (1887)

I thought this charming vintage book might come in handy during the upcoming festive holiday season of parties and entertaining. "Containing receipts for mixing all kinds of Punch, Eggnog, Juleps, Smashs, Cobblers, Cocktails, Sangarees, Mulls, Toddies, Slings, Sours, Flips, and 200 Other Fancy Drinks." You can read the antique book right online in your browser.

I'm intrigued by some of the old-fashioned drinks here I'd never heard of before: Morning Glory Cocktail, Whiskey Fix, Saratoga Brace Up, Sherry Cobbler, and a Parisian Pousse Cafe. I can't wait to try all, erm, a few of these!

The Bar-Tender's Guide, at Archive.Org

LOVELY BOOKS: Shopaholic to the Rescue

If you've been reading Lovely Living for a couple of years, you likely have surmised that I have an incredible weakness for the "Shopaholic" series of books by Sophie Kinsella. They're light and fun and easy to read after a long day of staring at a computer, cleaning and trying to keep my dogs from destroying my house.

So I was overjoyed that a new one arrived on my Kindle this week. It's the continuation of the plotline from "Shopaholic to the Stars." I'm so looking forward to reading another few fun chapters in bed tonight!

Shopaholic to the Rescue on Amazon

Shopaholic to the Rescue at Barnes & Noble

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Apple Yoghurt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze (A Daily Something)

Bourbon and Brown Butter Salted Pecan Ice Cream (Food Hunter's Guide)

Cranberry Pepita Pumpkin Bread (Nommable)

Cranberry Upside Down Cake (From a Writer's Kitchen)

Fig and Goat Cheese Tart (Diary of a Lifestyle Mommy)

Flaky Apple Dumplings with Salted Maple Caramel (Joy the Baker)

Goat Cheese Frosting (Spinach Tiger)

Green Chile Whipped Goat Cheese (101 Cookbooks)

Halloween Marzipan Truffles (Just About Baked)

Mushroom and Goats Cheese Bruschetta (The Interiors Addict)

Orzo with Goat Cheese and Arugula (Aggie's Kitchen)

Pear and Toasted Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette (Veg Kitchen)

Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats (Our Eating Habits)

Roasted Butternut Squash and Browned Butter Sage Pasta (Simple Comfort Food)

Tiny Homes for the Homeless (The Atlantic)

What Do the Most Innovative Chefs Keep In Their Fridges? (Smithsonian Magazine)

Whole Wheat Bread with Hazelnuts and Cranberries (The Messy Apron)

The Wisdom of Pumpkin, Sage, and Browned Butter Cake (FoodGal)


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